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Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Writer's Life 7/13 - War Service

Here's a list of celebrities who served in combat, gleaned from, edited by yours truly: In 1943 Johnny Carson joined the Navy and became a member of the crew of the USS Pennsylvania... Mel Brooks was a corporal in the 1104 Engineer Combat Battalion, whose job it was to defuse land mines during WWII... Ernest Hemingway was an ambulance driver in Italy during WWI. He was among Red Cross personnel who responded to an explosion in a munitions factory and pulled the bodies of the women who worked there from the wreckage... Paul Newman was a turret gunner in an Avenger torpedo bomber... William Sanderson was a medic in Vietnam... Don Rickles enlisted in the United States Navy at 18 and served during WWII on the USS Cyrene as a Seaman First Class... Charlton Heston served as a gunner in the Air Force from 1944 to 1946... Michael Caine was on active duty for the Royal Army during the Korean War and experienced a near death experience, saying, “The rest of my life I have relived every bloody moment from the moment I wake up until the time I go to sleep.”... Henry Fonda joined the Navy during WWII and saw action in the Pacific... Dennis Franz was drafted into the Army and served almost a year with the 82nd Airborne Division as well as 101st Division in Vietnam... Duck Dynasty’s Si Robertson fought in Vietnam... Charles Bronson served as an Air Force gunner during WWII, flew over 25 missions and earned a Purple Heart for his wounds... Oliver Stone served in Vietnam... Kurt Vonnegut was deployed in Europe and was captured by German forces during the Battle of the Bulge... Harry Belafonte served in the Navy during WWII - right out of high school... Jimmy Stewart is a decorated war hero who left the military with the rank of Brigadier General... Although Steve McQueen did not see combat, he saved the lives of five Marines during a 1947 expedition in the Arctic, pulling them from a tank before it broke through ice and into the sea... Absent from the list: Eddie Albert, who earned a Bronze Star for actions during the invasion of Tarawa in November 1943. The pilot of a Coast Guard landing craft, he rescued 47 Marines who were stranded offshore, and supervised the rescue of 30 others while under heavy enemy machine-gun fire... And Neville Brand, who earned a slew of medals including a Silver Star and Purple Heart... And, of course, the most decorated soldier of WWII, Audie Murphy. I'd bet there are more.

Below: Lt. Gen. Martial Valin, chief of staff, French air force, awards the Croix de Guerre with Palm to Colonel Stewart for exceptional services in the liberation of France. Photo from

The U.S. Women's Open is being played at the Trump National course in Bedminster, NJ. The clowns in the sports press are firing "gotcha" questions at the players, trying to out the President's supporters, as if there were a litmus test for the event other than golfing excellence. Are they miffed that it is not being boycotted?

Last night I caught the premiere of Salvation, a summer series on CBS. It's the story of a celestial object on a collision course with Earth, an extinction event. The debut was okay. I'll give it another look, although I suspect the story will be dragged out to another season if the ratings are good, as was Under the Dome, and as is Zoo, both of which I stopped watching.

As expected due to the heat and humidity, business was slow at the floating book shop. My thanks to Ira, who bought Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal by William H. Chafe, and Al, who purchased Walk Your Butt Off!: Go from Sedentary to Slim in 12 Weeks with This Breakthrough Walking Plan by Sarah Lorge Butler and Michele Stanten. Thanks also to Herbie, who donated a paperback, and to the lovely Asian woman who donated about ten quality titles the library refused.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
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